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April 22, 2016

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Two generals, three brigadiers, colonel removed for corruption

Two generals, three brigadiers, colonel removed for corruption

Gen Raheel sets own house in order

Ranks and perks including land and plots, except pension and medical facilities, taken back; punished officers asked to return all earnings accumulated through corruption; inquiries against more officers in progress

RAWALPINDI: In an unprecedented move, Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif on Thursday sent six high-ranking military officers, including a lieutenant general and a major general, on forced retirement for their involvement in corrupt practices.

Lieutenant General Obaidullah Khattak, Major General Ejaz Shahid, Brigadier Asad Shahzada, Brigadier Aamir, Brigadier Saif and Colonel Haider have been stripped of their ranks and perks, including land and plots. However, they would continue to get pension and medical facilities.

The punished officers were asked to return all earnings accumulated through corruption.

Sources said inquiries against more officers were also in progress.

General Obaidullah Khattak and General Ejaz Shahid had served as IG Frontier Corps, Balochistan. Major General Ejaz Shahid replaced Obaidullah Khattak as the IGFC Balochistan in July, 2013. Khattak was later promoted to Lt. Gen. in December, 2013.

The inquiry against the officers who have been sent on forced retirement had been in progress for over one year. They were found guilty of making money through corruption and smuggling.

General Raheel approved action against the six officers in the light of an inquiry report submitted to him by the Adjutant General Lt. Gen. Syed Zamirul Hassan, who had retired a few days back.

The sources said the inquiry was initiated against Major General Ejaz Shahid when Colonel Faisal Shakil and Major Yasir lost their lives while taking the trial of a new sports car of the son of the general in November 2014. The inquiry also led to more disclosures and action against other officers.

The court of inquiry was constituted after the widow of Colonel Faisal Shakil made an appeal to the army chief through a letter.

The reports of sending six army officers on forced retirement came just two days after the statement of General Raheel Sharif in which he termed across-the-board accountability necessary for the integrity, solidarity and prosperity of Pakistan.

General Raheel had said  that the ongoing war against terrorism and extremism could not bring enduring peace and stability unless corruption was uprooted from the country. “Across-the-board accountability is necessary for the solidarity, integrity and prosperity of Pakistan,” said the army chief on Tuesday while speaking in a ceremony at the Signal Regimental Centre, Kohat.

He said the ongoing war against terrorism and extremism being fought with the backing of the entire nation could not bring enduring peace and stability unless the menace of corruption was uprooted.

The punitive action against the military officers would also build pressure on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his family members to present themselves for accountability and agree on the constitution of an inquiry commission in the wake of allegations contained in the Panama Leaks.

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